Fear and anxiety are overtaking the country– a frightening result of the growing coronavirus pandemic. In this time of heightened suffering, we may be struggling to see the silver lining. If we’re able to shift our eyes away from all the turmoil, we’ll see a lot of positivity around us. Families are spending more time together, friends are Zooming, neighbors are outside walking, communities are supporting local businesses, and the list goes on.
In the business world, companies large and small are showing tremendous generosity in serving their employees, communities, front-line workers, and those affected by the virus. Below are just a few promising actions.
Timberlane, Inc. is a custom exterior shutter company based in Montgomeryville, PA. While employees typically design and create shutters, they now find their talents and the business as a whole shifting focus in an effort to aid their community. Employees are combating the medical supply shortage by producing face and intubation shields. Timberlane has retained the entirety of their workforce as well as provided employment to an extra 214 people.
“Among the heroes in this global pandemic are the front-line medical community who are tirelessly and selflessly serving those in need and are putting their own safety in front of those they serve. Our dedicated team of employees is trying to do our part in this crisis and we’re proud to contribute.”
– Rick Skidmore, CEO and Founder of Timberlane, Inc.
Delta Air Lines
Ed Bastion, CEO of Delta Air Lines, forfeited his salary for six months to augment the income of Delta employees and avoid layoffs. Delta also announced that they are offering “voluntary short-term, unpaid leaves” and enacting a hiring freeze. Many other airlines are taking a similar path, with the CEOs of Alaska Air Group, United Airlines, and Allegiant Air all reducing their salaries to $0.
“…we have been through turbulent times before, and what has always carried us through has been our commitment to our values, our culture and each other,”
– Ed Bastian, CEO of Delta Air Lines
An online athletic wear company, Gymshark is known for their gym clothing and workout gear. The access and need for their product hasn’t been affected by the explosion of COVID-19, but the company is still looking for a strategy to leave a positive impact. With the closing of gyms, many personal trainers are out of work and unable to earn an income. As a way to support personal trainers who might otherwise face unemployment, Gymshark is now offering them the opportunity to teach classes online through the brand’s Facebook Live and receive an hourly rate.
“In this time of instability, the conditioning community needs the release of training more than ever and, at the same time, we sympathise with the struggles that all PTs now face with gym closures. We believe we’re all stronger when we pull together. That’s why we want to connect with PTs worldwide to provide 40-minute live workouts for our community to follow, so we can all keep bringing our best.”
Everytable is an L.A. restaurant chain whose mission is to provide healthy meals to “food desert” (lower income) areas in the city. In response to the coronavirus, the company took a turn toward emergency relief. Everytable– paired with government agencies, donors, and foundations– donated over 500,000 meals to elderly residents in their homes, homeless people living in hotels, and lower-income youth and college students. Everytable has also provided hundreds of people employment for working in the kitchen or delivering food.
“Our mission is to make healthy food affordable and accessible for anybody, and we’re not wedded to a particular channel. All we’re wedded to is being of service to our city.”
– Sam Polk, CEO and co-founder of Everytable
After hearing the extent of face mask shortages and the subsequent rising prices, Staurt Carlitz, CEO of Eclipse International— a New Jersey-based mattress company– made the decision to shift his production to face mask making. Face mask production utilizes one of the primary materials required for mattress production. Applying this information, Carlitz ordered the remaining necessary mask materials and got to work. Now, 20% of his team is currently working full-time to produce masks. The first round of production yielded 38,000 masks which were donated to hospitals and a police department in the local New Brunswick area.
“I’m not trying to sell masks. Whether it’s a dollar apiece or four dollars apiece, that’s not going to change my business. I’m going to donate the masks.”
– Stuart Carlitz, president and CEO of Eclipse International
Large and small companies alike are demonstrating compassionate leadership in the midst of some of our world’s darkest days. With service to others at the core of their agenda, businesses all across the country and world are finding ways to stay in business while providing employment, relief, and basic essentials to those in need. Thousands of companies are stepping forward and finding ways to create a positive impact, and we’re all growing and becoming better from it. The silver lining is there– we just have to change our focus.
For more information on optimism and servitude during difficult times, contact Knowted for specialized and an in-depth approach.